As the EU moves towards building a truly digital society, bridging the digital divide between urban and rural areas is crucial. The WiFi4EU scheme aims to bring high-quality, free internet connection to thousands of local communities.
Much of people's lives are now online, with more than two-thirds of all Europeans using the internet daily. While free wifi is increasingly available in public places in major European cities, some remote, rural areas are still lagging. This is the opportunity to give a more inclusive access to the future for all Europeans — free access to high-quality internet. Enter the WiFi4EU scheme — MEPs are ironing out the details. The vision? Areas with no wifi can get a top-notch internet connection that's secure and completely free: no charge, no restrictions, no ads and no commercial use of data. 120 million euros will be set aside for the next two years. Municipalities, for example, may apply for a grant and use this to install WiFi4EU hotspots in public places such as museums, parks, libraries, train stations. There will only be one Europe-wide authentication system to make it easy to use. Some regions are already waiting to apply. The process is very simple. We will give vouchers to the people that apply to this project, and with this voucher they will install the connection. 6,000 to 8,000 local communities are expected to benefit from this pilot project.